A plane carrying tourists to Lukla, gateway to Mt Everest, crashed in Bhaktapur on Friday, killing all 19 people, including three Nepalis, seven British and five Chinese passengers on board.
The twin-engine propeller-driven Dornier plane belonging to Sita Air (9 NAHA D228) was also carrying three crew members - pilot Bijay Tandukar, co-pilot Takesingh Thapa and air-hostess Ruja Shakya - when it crashed at 6:20 am, four minutes after taking off from Kathmandu's international airport.
The plane crashed at the banks of Manohara River in Thimi, just a few kilometers east of Kathmandu.
Eyewitnesses said people living in a small settlement near the site of the plane crash were panic stricken after seeing the plane hit the ground and erupt in flames immediately. No casualties were reported on the ground, however.
The bodies have been taken to TU Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj in Maharajgunj for postmortem.
Although the reason of the crash is still not known, it is not ruled out that the plane pilot tried to make an emergency landing in Manohara after facing some technical glitches following a fire on board the aircraft. The region where the aircraft crashed was also foggy and had low visibility. nepalnews.com